Our trip was done in three segments, with each day spent in a hotel enroute. The trail was in pretty good shape, with only one tree fall giving us any pause, which ironically was in the last day, closest to Washington. We rode from Cumberland to Hancock, Hancock to Harper's Ferry, and Harper's Ferry to DC. If you go to Harper's Ferry, you will have to walk your bike up four flights of stairs and across a pedestrian bridge. Harper's Ferry is very hilly!
The trail itself is harder than you would think, given the surface. I rode a Mountain Bike, and my partner and I suffered no flats. I wouldn't want to have ridden my road bike. It is all crushed stone and dirt, with a small portion of a concrete amalgamate.
The amenities are really primitive at best. There is an outhouse and a pump every five miles as promised. The visitor centers are off trail, and have to be found as they are not marked on the map. The DC visitor center is under construction and is located in a trailer off the path in Georgetown. It was closed on Monday July 3 when we arrived at 1:00 pm.
Prepare by packing the list included in the Trails.com guide. You really don't need a flashlight for the Paw Paw tunnel if you get there in daylight, so you may want to save the extra weight. Bugs are everywhere, so bring repellant. But do travel light, and leave the kitchen sink at home.
The trail is open all the way through from Great Falls to DC, with the detor between miles 12 and 14 eliminated. There is still a detour of about four miles between miles 88 and 84.
All in all, I had a great experience, and would do it again.